There's definite differences in the mind of the primary caregiver of a child and the other parent.

I want to say it's the difference between women and men, but I'm not 100 per cent sure that's the case and I don't want to be unfair to the men.

Okay, let's be honest: I do want to be unfair to the men, I just don't want to deal with the trolling.

Our 6-month-old baby, who has been a pretty awesome sleeper, has just started waking at 4am.

Advertisement

For those who don't know, 4am is the worst time to be woken, because your body thinks you should be starting the day, so it takes a while to get back to sleep after you feed the baby and when you finally do, an alarm goes and it's time to get up, but you're in a sleep so deep you feel dead for an hour.

Last night, I tried to wait longer than usual before I went to him, hoping he would resettle.

I lay there, unable to switch off, dreading leaving the warmth of bed, mulling over if perhaps this was all a bit habit-forming, that perhaps he was just waking now because he knew he was going to get a bottle, as he had for the last week.

Is he just thirsty? Is he too hot? Am I doing the wrong thing by feeding him? Should I just be giving him water? Is he too cold?

Is this about the teeth he is surely about to get because of all the dribbling he has been doing?

Maybe it's a milestone thing. He is close to crawling.

Is he just wanting to know we are there? He has recently moved to a bigger cot in his own room. Perhaps I should be going in and doing the old hand-on-the-bed thing, to let him know I am there and I will come to him, but that he can go another hour or so before he gets his bottle, just like he has for previous months.

So many thoughts in the cold, still blackness.

Advertisement

I wonder if that's all a bit mean for a 6-month-old. How old are they when you do all that? It has been a while since I have had to worry about this stuff.

I reflect that I am extremely grateful for this, but also annoyed at my newfound confusion, which makes me flash back to the permanent states of this exact confusion I lived with when our first two children were babies.

Calm down, I tell myself, you know there's no point worrying about all this, it all ends one day in the not-too-distant future anyway. I'm over-analysing as usual.

But perhaps he is having a growth spurt, or I need to increase the solids he is eating to see him through the night? He's a very big baby, and quite hungry.

Maybe I need to step his food up to more filling options?

After about 10 minutes of mental chatter to a soundtrack of grizzling, I murmured to my husband: "Do you think he's just waking up because we keep feeding him?"

I was semi-hoping for a definitive answer, even though I knew one did not exist.

He replied: "Has he been making noise, has he?"